WASHINGTON -- The National Cattlemen's Beef Association is accepting applications for the 15th annual Environmental Stewardship Award Program, which recognizes cattle producers that use innovative practices to protect and enhance natural resources while remaining profitable. In addition to recognizing progressive cattle operations, the program has inspired other operators to try environmentally friendly techniques used by the winners, officials said. Nominees compete for one of seven regional awards. The seven regional winners then compete for the national award. Dow AgroSciences and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service sponsor the program.